You don’t need a special study commissioned to tell anyone in Los Angeles that the 101 Freeway is slow. But if you persist and find the smoother sailing, you can find your way to a growing brew hub in Westlake Village.
You read that right. Within the last year (and last week), the Westlake area has become home to three brewing operations. The biggest and best known of the bunch being Figueroa Mountain Brewing. The Buellton based brewer has multiple outlets, but this is the closest to us in L.A. and despite the outdoor mall setting, inside you’ll find a great tap list to explore. Ask for the specialty tap page and you will be presented with hard choices as to what to order.
Next up is Westlake Brewing Co. which just opened earlier this month. They share a large space with 101 Cider House and have a wide range of beer styles on tap from IPA, to wit to coffee vanilla porter. I found the IPA to be the clear winner of the bunch. I would recommend sampling it and the hopped cider side-by-side.
The surprise and the brewery that I will try again is Five Threads Brewing which is within a short, short walk from Westlake. I didn’t even know it existed, but thanks to a wrong turn I ran across it and the three samples that I tried showed a clear guiding hand and well balanced and strong flavors. The tap room is small but the the number of taps was not. Try out a sampler tray. When you buy four, the fifth is free.
Find a lazy weekend and head out north to a new brewing destination.
The Beer of the Week comes from King Harbor and it is their 2nd Anniversary beer. King Swirly the 2nd is an imperialized version of the chocolate/vanilla favorite that aged in bourbon barrels. You can taste it at anniversary party in Redondo Beach on Saturday, April 2. Or you can taste four different variants of Swirly alongside four desserts.
Your Homework is to order from the cask. One of many reasons to stop at Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura Hills is their weekly cask. Not only do the names put a smile on my face, but the crazy concoctions do as well. The latest was the Conejo Lager that contained Oolong Tea. The beer had a lovely and bright (but not overpowering) cinnamon taste and was very refreshing. Each cask is and adventure.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.